I would like to thank Jason for all the work he's done for the site. Unfortunately, he will no longer be sitting for The Crawfish Boxes.It's time has come to vote on the SB Nation MLB awards. Pitching has dominated the majors of late, and the Astros had one of the best in Dallas Keuchel. Plenty of pitchers stood out this season including Keuchel, the Oakland Athletics' Sonny Gray, the Toronto Blue Jays' David Price, the Chicago Cubs' Jake Arrieta, and the Los Angeles Dodgers Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
Here is the case for each:
2015 stats: 2.48 ERA, 232 IP, 216 Ks, 51 BB, 2.91 FIP, 2.75 xFIP, 6.1 fWAR
Dallas Keuchel has risen to the top ranks of pitchers in Major League Baseball, building on a solid 2014 campaign. Keuchel finished first in wins (20), innings pitched (232), WHIP (1.02), and in the top five in strikeouts (216), ERA (2.48), win percentage (.714) and complete games (3).
2015 stats: 2.45 ERA, 220.1 IP, 225 Ks, 47 BB, 2.78 FIP, 3.24 xFIP, 6.4 fWAR
David Price was the big pickup for the Toronto Blue Jays this season -- he may have been ever more important to Troy Tulowitzki. Price finished first in the American League in ERA (2.45), win percentage (.783) and third in wins (18), innings pitched (220.1).
2015 stats: 2.73 ERA, 208 IP, 169 Ks, 59 BB, 3.45 FIP, 3.69 xFIP, 3.8 fWAR
Sonny Gray was neck-and-neck with Keuchel all season for the top pitcher in the American League -- as the A's tailed off so did Gray. Gray finished in the top 10 in the American League in: wins (14), innings pitched (208), ERA (2.73), WHIP (1.08), win percentage (.667), and complete games (3).
2015 stats: 1.77 ERA, 229 IP, 236 Ks, 48 BB, 2.35 FIP, 2.61 xFIP, 7.3 fWAR
Jake Arrieta figured everything out in 2015, and new-made Cubs got even richer. Arrieta finished first in the National League in wins (22) and was second in innings pitched (229), ERA (1.77), WHIP (0.86) and win percentage (.786).
2015 stats: 2.13 ERA, 232.2 IP, 301 K, 42 BB, 1.99 FIP, 2.09 xFIP, 8.6 fWAR
Clayton Kershaw was just as good, if not better than previous years he's won the Cy-Young Award (and MVP). But he may not have been the best pitcher on his team. Kershaw finished first in the National League in innings pitched (232.2), strikeouts (301), and he he finished in the top five in ERA (2.13), WHIP (0.88) and win percentage (.696).
2015 stats: 1.66 ERA, 222.2 IP, 200 K, 40 BB, 2.76 FIP, 3.22 xFIP, 5.9 fWAR
Who the Dodgers didn't figure out how to reach reach the World Series with Kershaw and Greinke I will never know. Greinke finished second in wins (19), fourth in innings pitched (222.2), and first in ERA (1.66), WHIP (0.84) and win percentage (.864).
TCB Staff Picks
DK! DK! DK! DK! DK!
Dallas Keuchel....do I really need justification? I mean, David Price was very very good this year, but even he thinks Dallas reigned supreme.
Many good candidates....Kershaw, Greinke, Sale each have very strong cases - especially Kershaw, who I just can't bring myself to pick *again* for awards. I'm going to spread the love some and say Jake Arrieta. 22-6 to lead all of baseball in wins, for those who care about those kinds of traditional ideas, but I also love that his 80% LOB% outpaces the other guys I mentioned, and his 0.39 HR/9 is the best mark in baseball. He doesn't lead in K/9 (his is a strong 9.28) but we Astros fans know that there's more to gauging pitcher dominance than just strikeouts and strikeout rates. He's also 5th among qualified starters with a 56.2 GB%, and he's 7th in baseball with a 7.8 HR/FB% - of the aforementioned star pitchers, only Greinke is better in this regard, and it's slight. Kershaw and Sale are each in double digits in HR/FB%. All told, it's Jake Arrieta for me.
I would like to thank Jason for all the work he's done for the site. Unfortunately, he will no longer be sitting for The Crawfish Boxes.
Also, Dallas Keuchel.
Arquimedes Euclides Caminero is my pick. All respect to Keuchel and Arrieta, but neither one have a name that awesome.
Clayton Kershaw. He's still in a class completely by himself. Led the Majors in innings, complete games, shutouts, strike outs and FIP. Also led the NL in strike out rate. He's the active MLB leader in ERA, FIP, WHIP, and H/9. Guys, he struck out 301 batters. In the year 2015, in modern baseball. 301 strike outs. Three. Hundred. And. One. He posted a 0.27 ERA in July. He allowed 16 earned runs in the second half of the season. 1.31 ERA, 0.720 WHIP, 9.4 K/BB...that's what he did after the All-Star break. It took a stupefying, unsustainable, sub-2.00 ERA year from Jake Arietta to even get him in the neighborhood, and Kershaw still beat him by a full 1.3 WAR.
There is only one answer, and it is Clayton Kershaw.